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Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery

 
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Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 12:57:35 AM   
FNG


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Has this been changed? I just re-visited PCK and had a go at a random campaign and got panelled by turn 1 Russian mortars. Losing 40% of your panzers to 120mm mortar fire on turn 1 is rather depressing.

I had forgotten this particular feature and just how much I disliked it. Has it been changed in PCO?

Cheers,

FNG
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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 1:27:09 AM   
Rick

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FNG

Has this been changed? I just re-visited PCK and had a go at a random campaign and got panelled by turn 1 Russian mortars. Losing 40% of your panzers to 120mm mortar fire on turn 1 is rather depressing.

I had forgotten this particular feature and just how much I disliked it. Has it been changed in PCO?

Cheers,

FNG


The default for scenarios is that Russian get the first turn pre-planned artilllery, which means that if the Russians have LOS to your units there is a good chance that an artillery strike will occur if the Russian player (either human or AI) has off-map artillery assets.

However, there are a few ways to avoid this . 1) an option has been added in the scenario editor to allow you to toggle preplanned art on or off for either or both sides. So you could generate the random scenario and then edit the Random scenario using the Scenario editor to turn off preplanned art for both sides or -- 2) when creating a random scenario, reduce the artillery available to the russian player. or 3) during setup, make sure your forces are not in the open, and that they are not bunched together.

If you don't care for the mortars landing, wait until you see the Katyusha barrage coming in. You' be really unhappy then, though they are supposed to be a bit less 'accurate' than the other offmap artillery assets.

Thanks
rick

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 1:43:50 AM   
Zemke_4


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I think a 40% loss rate of armor due to indirect fire is a lot from one barrage.  Tanks are designed expressly for the purpose of withstanding indirect fire, and unless it is a direct hit, indirect fire should only cause minor damage, optics, radio aerials, and if intense enough maybe running gear.  120mm is great for killing infantry in the open, but I don't think would hurt tanks much unless it were a direct hit, and even then it would depend on where it hit the tank.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:06:56 AM   
FNG


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To be fair, 40% is unusually high - just happened to be the most recent example. 1st turn Katyushas are less of a problem than mortars because they are far less accurate. Since getting battered earlier, I have remembered the slightly gamey solution of deploying armour as far back as possible and rushing forward on turn one. The artillery then tends to land behind you.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:09:37 AM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zemke_4
I think a 40% loss rate of armor due to indirect fire is a lot from one barrage.  Tanks are designed expressly for the purpose of withstanding indirect fire, and unless it is a direct hit, indirect fire should only cause minor damage, optics, radio aerials, and if intense enough maybe running gear.  120mm is great for killing infantry in the open, but I don't think would hurt tanks much unless it were a direct hit, and even then it would depend on where it hit the tank.
I don't know what the odds to hit a vehicle were in PCK but they were suppose to reflect a very near or direct hit. Maybe because the target was in a corner it didn't scatter as much as in the open.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:16:39 AM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zemke_4

I think a 40% loss rate of armor due to indirect fire is a lot from one barrage.  Tanks are designed expressly for the purpose of withstanding indirect fire, and unless it is a direct hit, indirect fire should only cause minor damage, optics, radio aerials, and if intense enough maybe running gear.  120mm is great for killing infantry in the open, but I don't think would hurt tanks much unless it were a direct hit, and even then it would depend on where it hit the tank.


According to Otto Carius in "Tigers in the Mud" mortars were the greatest threats to Tigers. Because they could hit the thin armour over the engine compartment and knock the tank out that way.

Good Hunting.

MR

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:46:06 AM   
Zemke_4


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Due to the high angle fire of mortars, that would make sense, and seeing that few direct fire weapons could pentrate a Tiger, if I would in his shoes, I would be worried about that also.  But the chance of a hit on a stationary tank, much less a hit on the engine compartment, would be very small.  I used to be a mortar Platoon Leader 20+ years ago in the 80s, and I remember out on the range we had a bet with the Forward Observers (FOs), that we could hit this old tank with a direct hit.  It took us a lot of rounds from one gun, not because we had to adjust the gun data, but because mortars are not a point attack weapon, they are an area attack weapon, and with the same data on the gun, we got really close several times, hitting behind it, in front of it, to the sides, finally the FOs called back they has seen "flash", indicating a metal on metal strike, a direct hit.  So yes if can be done, with enough rounds, and some luck, to hit a stationary tank, but it took us 10-20 rounds to do it.  When I talk about data on the guns, we take into account, not only the obvious factors like range, but air density, air temperature, wind, tube temperature, all these variables are taken into account to get the most accurate fire possible and if the FO has the range correct, you will hit +/- 50 meters with one adjustment, and that is good enough in the indirect fire world, because once again, mortars and artillery are area weapons designed to kill infantry.  Shell fragments may cause minor damage to a tank, but will not knock it out, maybe damage it.  Today we can kill a tank with one round, the Excalibur round allows us to do a precision hit, because it is GPS guided, so unless they had GPS in WW II, I stick by hitting a tank with mortars or any other indirect fire weapon is NOT likely, possible, but not likely.

Bottom line, I think 40% of FNGs tanks getting knocked out in one barrage by 120mm mortars is way too high, and unrealistic.

< Message edited by Zemke_4 -- 9/10/2010 2:51:46 AM >


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:51:19 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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It's not at all typical in Panzer Command to lose 40% of an armor platoon to any kind of artillery barrage though. With that said, it's been a long time since we've tested PCK, so I am mainly speaking based on more recent experience with PCO. I feel the artillery in PCO is very realistic, more so than in PCK in many respects.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:51:44 AM   
junk2drive


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In PC, the off board mortars are a battery. So it is possible for a barrage to randomly hit a tank.

edit, Erik beat me

< Message edited by junk2drive -- 9/10/2010 2:52:17 AM >

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 3:06:07 AM   
Zemke_4


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Of course it is possible, a battery is 3-6 guns or "tubes" as mortars are called, but the chances would still be low.  Let's say for argument's sake you could achieve a 40% kill rate with one barrage on tanks, if that were so, then it would be a rather simple matter to take out bunkers also, assuming you had a large enough caliber round.  History has shown in WWI and WWII, Korea, Vietnam and still today, without precision guided rounds, it takes a lot of rounds to knock out a bunker.  Why?  Because you have to get a direct hit on the bunker roof.  Thus it would take a direct hit, (and in the right place) to knock out a tank.  Hitting a tank with indirect fire has always been a low chance event.  Granted if you fire enough rounds and the tank just sits there, sooner or later you will hit it, but the most likely thing will not a catastrophic kill, but a mobility kill.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 3:11:29 AM   
Mad Russian


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Here is a Soviet small tank that was hit by a 105mm. It killed both the tank and the infantry that was walking along beside it.

In PCO as artillery fires, the first salvoes aren't all that accurate but as it continues firing it gets adjusted on to the target and then there is a better chance for a target to be hit directly.

These were both out in the open.

In this particular case the tank was moving in reverse and came close to the infantry squad which was the target of the OMA fire. The tank just backed into a 105mm. It was the last mistake they would make that day.

About the past 15 scenarios that I've played, I've not had a tank hit directly by OMA until this one. When they do hit they are a game ending shot for the vehicle that's hit.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 9/10/2010 4:29:25 AM >


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 3:24:35 AM   
Zemke_4


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I never said it cannot happen, just that the chances are low.  The 40% knock out rate FNG suffered is much too high for a 40-60 second barrage of 120mm mortars. 

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 3:30:06 AM   
junk2drive


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Agreed. And we are not seeing that in PCO.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 3:42:35 AM   
FNG


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zemke_4

I never said it cannot happen, just that the chances are low.  The 40% knock out rate FNG suffered is much too high for a 40-60 second barrage of 120mm mortars. 


I would like to state for the record that this was a spectacularly bad result - the worst I have seen. That said, IMHO, the first turn Soviet artillery (in PCK and PCW) is way too accurate. [Edit] I am happy that this is not being seen in PCO :)

< Message edited by FNG -- 9/10/2010 3:43:37 AM >


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 4:07:32 AM   
Rick

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FNG

quote:

ORIGINAL: Zemke_4

I never said it cannot happen, just that the chances are low.  The 40% knock out rate FNG suffered is much too high for a 40-60 second barrage of 120mm mortars. 


I would like to state for the record that this was a spectacularly bad result - the worst I have seen. That said, IMHO, the first turn Soviet artillery (in PCK and PCW) is way too accurate. [Edit] I am happy that this is not being seen in PCO :)


I have seen fairly accurate artillery barrages in PCO. But by fairly accurate, I mean the barrage lands in the general area that was targetted, and sometimes it kills vehicles, whether it's too much or not is tough for me to say. If a side has artillery, and is able to use it, it can be pretty effective.

I recently had occasion to try out a scenario where Russians had a 36 tube Katyusha launcher and had clear LOS to some stationary targets. First turn was rather spectacular, but running that same turn several times, the results were pretty scattered, from loss of one Inf squad, to the loss of two tanks and 1 HT. (from a force total of 15 units). Lesson learned, if you start in the open, don't stand still.

thanks
Rick

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 4:28:25 AM   
Mad Russian


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Another lesson is that you never know when the other guy has OMA.

Good Hunting.

MR


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 1:41:12 PM   
Ron

 

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Ouch, I'm reminded also in PC:Kharkov of starting battles in LOS of the enemy. I don't know if it was a result of the small maps or a conscious design decision, but I disliked it intensely. Hopefully with the larger maps that isn't an issue.

I agree with Zemke_4, the chances of actually hitting a point target with artillery or mortars should be fairly low, the chances of 'knocking it out' even lower still as it would have to hit the right place. What kind of damage modelling will be portrayed with AFVs?

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 1:54:27 PM   
junk2drive


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Track damage right or left or both, slows movement for one, immobile for both
Engine damage, immobile and turret speed slower
Gun damage
Bogging and breakdown, chance to recover

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/10/2010 2:20:34 PM   
thewood1

 

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There was a study done by the brits right near the end of WW2 that surveyed the major causes of AFV knockouts.  Arty was very very low.  I think air was also very low.  IIRC AT guns were the largest cause.  It was shown on the BFC website a couple of different times to dispell the myth of front line air support.  If anyone can find that link, it might lend some quantitative background to this discussion.

I found the name of the abstract published in 1997, but can't find the article any where...

"Artillery Effectiveness vs. Armor” TNDM, June 1997

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 9/10/2010 2:35:13 PM >

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/11/2010 6:35:13 PM   
Ron

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1

There was a study done by the brits right near the end of WW2 that surveyed the major causes of AFV knockouts.  Arty was very very low.  I think air was also very low.  IIRC AT guns were the largest cause.  It was shown on the BFC website a couple of different times to dispell the myth of front line air support.  If anyone can find that link, it might lend some quantitative background to this discussion.

I found the name of the abstract published in 1997, but can't find the article any where...

"Artillery Effectiveness vs. Armor” TNDM, June 1997



Yes I recall a couple threads that specifically targetted the Normandy aftermath and CAS effectiveness, however after a brief and fruitless search dropped it. As I recall the 'Other' category was quite high also, which may or may not indirectly relate back to artillery damage.

I also remember another more recent report which analyzed US 155mm effectiveness with assorted modern munitions and it proved to be quite effective even in not so close proximity, probably due to the size of the caliber and ammuniton types.

In the end, many things require a fudge factor for a game to be playable and realistic. It just raises eyebrows if mortars routinely start taking out AFVs.


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/11/2010 6:41:35 PM   
junk2drive


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There was/is quite the uproar in the John Tiller's Campaign Series forum when they changed the indirect arty damage to AFVs rules in an update.

We are still in testing/adjusting mode so it will be tweaked before release.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/11/2010 7:41:26 PM   
Mobius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ron
I also remember another more recent report which analyzed US 155mm effectiveness with assorted modern munitions and it proved to be quite effective even in not so close proximity, probably due to the size of the caliber and ammuniton types.

I had a Colonel in the US Army Armor tell me he has had both 105mm and 155mm artillery mistakenly dropped on him. The 105mm was not worrying but the 155mm was quite “impressive“. (This was in M60 tanks.)

< Message edited by Mobius -- 9/11/2010 7:42:10 PM >

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/13/2010 4:57:34 PM   
Zemke_4


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Let's try and frame this another way.  Artillery can fire for several km, but lets use 10k as the range from the target to the guns, around six miles. Direct fire weapons in WW II usually had an effective range of 500m to 2k, and usually were kinetic energy rounds, in other words they punched a hole in their target due to speed/mass/projectile diameter.  Any minor change to a gun is going to affect the flight of the round, and the error increases over distance.  Any direct hits by artillery is sheer luck, nothing else.  The other factor is the type of round tanks and artillery use.  Tank/AT guns used kinetic and shaped charged rounds.  Shaped charged rounds are designed to explode on impact and blow a hole in the armor.  Artillery rounds are NOT shaped charge rounds, they are designed to explode and spread shrapnel to kill men and damage light vehicles.  Tanks guns projectiles rely on speed and mass to get the penetration, so tank guns shoot flat or high speed like a rifle bullet.  Artillery can shoot longer distance, due to the angles it shoots at, and charge size.  In general artillery projectiles exit the tube a lot slower than a tank round.  So as you can see the ranges artillery fires is a lot longer than any tank gun.  Directly hitting a target the size of a tank with artillery is not done.  A tank would not like it, but the chances of getting hit are very low, because artillery is NOT a point attack weapon, it cannot be, and in WW II there was no expectation you would get direct hits on a tank.  The purpose of shooting artillery at tanks was not to kill them, but to cause them to button up, and maybe to move.  Second, a direct hit by an artillery round would not necessarily cause a kill to a tank.  First the HE rounds for artillery are not designed to do that, so it would depend on size weight and speed of the rounds and thickness of the armor, and explosive charge.  If the armor was thin, a kill is possible, but anything pretty thick, a kill would be unlikely.  The crew would be badly shaken I am sure, but alive.

Seriously, I think the developers/designers need to call Fort Sill and Fort Knox and get some expert opinions, because it sounds like your artillery/tank model is not where it needs to be or is accurate as possible.  Both sources can supply you with many unclassified studies and documents done by both the armor school and the artillery school on the effectiveness of artillery against tanks.  Also, I would not talk to just anyone.  Both have their "we can do anything" believers.  Talk to a senior officer or someone like that.  Not getting this right could ruin the game, or it would for me to see artillery routinely killing tanks.

< Message edited by Zemke_4 -- 9/13/2010 4:58:05 PM >


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/13/2010 5:11:41 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Zemke_4,

Artillery is not a major cause of tank loss in the game, but it's also worth keeping in mind that this is WWII and we're dealing with some tanks in WWII that are much lighter than more modern armor. A Panzer I is going to have a much tougher time weathering an artillery bombardment than a King Tiger, for example.

The main effect of artillery strikes in game is exactly what you describe. Tanks _can_ be destroyed by artillery, just as it could happen in real life, but it is not common or routine for this to happen in-game, assuming you use realistic tactics too.

No one is suggesting that artillery can target a tank from kilometers away. The odds of artillery directly hitting a tank in Panzer Command is basically based on physics and as a result are quite small. We know how many shells are dropping, we know the area the artillery is affecting and we know what percentage of that area the tank represents. A tank can still take some indirect damage from the shell exploding nearby, but medium and heavy tanks will typically just shrug this off - light tanks may take some track damage or a casualty if unbuttoned.

Regards,

- Erik

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 9/13/2010 5:12:58 PM >


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/13/2010 7:25:27 PM   
Mobius


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quote:

An often asked question is about the effect of indirect artillery fire on tanks. One example helps, in 1944 the German IX Corps in Italy reported that artillery fire was the largest single cause of its tanks losses, it seems that this was usually from medium and heavy guns controlled by air OPs. The second largest source was German destruction of damaged or broken-down tanks to prevent their capture (mechanical reliability was not a feature of German tanks - but perhaps some of this was due to the Special Operations Executive's campaign of insaisissable sabotage). Other tanks, anti-tank, air attack and mines well below the first two as the causes of tank losses.


Pulled from this site:
http://nigelef.tripod.com/wt_of_fire.htm

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/13/2010 10:22:49 PM   
NefariousKoel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rick

If you don't care for the mortars landing, wait until you see the Katyusha barrage coming in. You' be really unhappy then, though they are supposed to be a bit less 'accurate' than the other offmap artillery assets.


Preplanned Katyusha barrages make kittens cry.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/14/2010 5:19:30 AM   
Zemke_4


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Zemke_4,

Artillery is not a major cause of tank loss in the game, but it's also worth keeping in mind that this is WWII and we're dealing with some tanks in WWII that are much lighter than more modern armor. A Panzer I is going to have a much tougher time weathering an artillery bombardment than a King Tiger, for example.

The main effect of artillery strikes in game is exactly what you describe. Tanks _can_ be destroyed by artillery, just as it could happen in real life, but it is not common or routine for this to happen in-game, assuming you use realistic tactics too.

No one is suggesting that artillery can target a tank from kilometers away. The odds of artillery directly hitting a tank in Panzer Command is basically based on physics and as a result are quite small. We know how many shells are dropping, we know the area the artillery is affecting and we know what percentage of that area the tank represents. A tank can still take some indirect damage from the shell exploding nearby, but medium and heavy tanks will typically just shrug this off - light tanks may take some track damage or a casualty if unbuttoned.

Regards,

- Erik


Roger got it.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/15/2010 1:36:16 PM   
Michael Dorosh


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zemke_4

Due to the high angle fire of mortars, that would make sense, and seeing that few direct fire weapons could pentrate a Tiger, if I would in his shoes, I would be worried about that also.  But the chance of a hit on a stationary tank, much less a hit on the engine compartment, would be very small.  I used to be a mortar Platoon Leader 20+ years ago in the 80s, and I remember out on the range we had a bet with the Forward Observers (FOs), that we could hit this old tank with a direct hit.  It took us a lot of rounds from one gun, not because we had to adjust the gun data, but because mortars are not a point attack weapon, they are an area attack weapon, and with the same data on the gun, we got really close several times, hitting behind it, in front of it, to the sides, finally the FOs called back they has seen "flash", indicating a metal on metal strike, a direct hit.  So yes if can be done, with enough rounds, and some luck, to hit a stationary tank, but it took us 10-20 rounds to do it.  When I talk about data on the guns, we take into account, not only the obvious factors like range, but air density, air temperature, wind, tube temperature, all these variables are taken into account to get the most accurate fire possible and if the FO has the range correct, you will hit +/- 50 meters with one adjustment, and that is good enough in the indirect fire world, because once again, mortars and artillery are area weapons designed to kill infantry.  Shell fragments may cause minor damage to a tank, but will not knock it out, maybe damage it.  Today we can kill a tank with one round, the Excalibur round allows us to do a precision hit, because it is GPS guided, so unless they had GPS in WW II, I stick by hitting a tank with mortars or any other indirect fire weapon is NOT likely, possible, but not likely.

Bottom line, I think 40% of FNGs tanks getting knocked out in one barrage by 120mm mortars is way too high, and unrealistic.


You don't think the ammunition allotment for a Soviet mortar battery in action amounted to "10 or 20 rounds"? I'd suggest it was a lot higher than that under normal conditions by the middle of the war. Add the number of tubes per km of front in during some of the later barrages, and you're increasing the odds dramatically. Not to mention German tanks were pretty rare things, wargames notwithstanding. Armoured divisions amounted to something like 10% of German formations as a whole; a forward observer getting a mass of tanks in his binoculars was probably not shy about calling down as much fire, in as high a quantity, as possible.

quote:

Ron

I agree with Zemke_4, the chances of actually hitting a point target with artillery or mortars should be fairly low, the chances of 'knocking it out' even lower still as it would have to hit the right place. What kind of damage modelling will be portrayed with AFVs?


Not arguing against this but in the enclosed confines of a "typical" PzC scenario, you still have to have consequences for blundering through an artillery barrage with AFVs. Otherwise, what would stop a player from knowingly driving through one with his tanks/APCs, if he knows he is impervious to them? At the end of the day, it is still a game.

< Message edited by Michael Dorosh -- 9/15/2010 1:41:06 PM >


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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/16/2010 3:54:07 AM   
gijas


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I usually send infantry ahead to probe the area and if there is arty present (almost always is) I do a pincer move with the tanks. Once located its much easy to deal with them and their ranges.

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RE: Absurdly accurate first turn Russian Artillery - 9/16/2010 10:42:11 PM   
Mad Russian


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Notice the amount of 120mm mortar fire coming down on the Germans. The entire German force is Panther tanks so it's easy to see what the results are.

Good Hunting.

MR




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